England’s David Tapping leads the NCC Open at Soderasens GC in Sweden after an opening five under par 66.
After bogeying the first hole, Tapping hit back with birdies at the fourth and seventh to move under par. A brace of birdies from the 11th were followed by another pair on the 16th and 17th to take the lead.
The St Albans professional, who learnt his golf at Verulum Golf Club where Sam Ryder was a founder member and past captain, graduated from the Qualifying School in 1996.
The following year he was tied fourth at the halfway stage of the Open at Royal Troon after a second round of 66, earning him the Tooting Bec Cup with Darren Clarke as the lowest round of the week by a resident of Great Britain and Ireland.
Having kept his card that year by finishing 115th in the Order of Merit, his lost his playing rights on the Main Tour last year when he finished 180th.
Tapping leads by one from Klas Eriksson, another player to lose his card last season. The Swede won three times on the Challenge Tour in 1993, finishing top of the rankings and earning his place on the regular Tour.
But the former European Amateur Champion lost his playing privileges last year when he finished 119th in the Volvo Order of Merit. He shot five birdies and only the one bogey on his way to a 67.
A further shot back is another Swede Henrik Stenson.